Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Blogger's Block

Happy holidays to all my favourite booklovers!

I hope everyone is having an amazing holiday filled with quality time with friends, family and a few good books.

I must apologize for neglecting BBTO, it is just that for the past few months I have not been feeling very inspired.

Once or twice a year I go through stages where I have a hard time really getting into books, even some that are really good. I just started This Is Where I Leave You. I am enjoying it but still getting distracted and my attention span seems better suited to surfing the net or watching a few episodes of my new favourite shows: United States of Tara, American Horror Story and Game of Thrones.

Two books that did stand out over the past few months were two very different books:


1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
One of the best bios I have ever read. Fascinating.

2. The Slap a novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas
It reminded me of Little Children by Tom Perrotta because it deals with dysfunctional family relationships and drama in the burbs.


Anyone have any good suggestions on books that are hard to put down? I'm going to Quebec City for a few days and it is going to be very cold! I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time reading in some lovely little coffee shops.

And is anyone planning on going to see the movie We Need to Talk About Kevin? It is coming out in January and I can't wait to see it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thankful for Great Books in October

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of my bookloving Canadian friends!

Though it was a few weeks ago now, I still feel that there is lots to be thankful for. 

We had beautiful weather for the long weekend in October; this weekend I'll be celebrating my one year wedding anniversary with the man that I love and last but not least, this month I read two fantastic books that I highly recommend:

1. This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park 
This novel is a love story set in postwar South Korea and takes place in the growing city of Seoul and the countryside of Daegu. It is a love story about a woman torn between choosing what will make her happy in life or following tradition and doing what is expected of her. Having recently spent a year in South Korea (I can't believe it was two years ago now) where I met my husband I am a bit partial to the country. I love reading about the customs and traditions which the author has captured and make this novel such a good and charming read. 

This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park
 2. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
 I LOVED this novel! I couldn't put it down. It was one of those books that you wish you had read just a little bit slower. A few people told me about it. It is the story of a young woman who grew up in foster homes and when she becomes a legal adult, she finds her way working as a florist. She uses the language of flowers to express her feelings and her arrangements become much more than just flowers to her customers. Nothing I write could do this book justice.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh



Does anyone have any good suggestions for more October reading? I think it is probably time for a good mystery or thriller. Something really scary!


Monday, 19 September 2011

September Reading

September has been a good month for reading. I'm happy to report that I've read some great books that are definitely worth sharing.

Here are a few of my favourite September reads:

At first I was a bit turned off by the subject of the book: the mother of a teenage boy who went on a killing spree at school writes letters to her estranged husband, trying to make sense of it all. But since the film  has been getting a lot of buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival, I decided to give it a go. It is really well written though not a happy story at all. I'm looking forward to the movie.

One of the BEST books I've read since last winter. It is a psychological thriller about a woman who has lost her memory and every day wakes up and tries to put the pieces back together with the help of a journal and a doctor. AMAZING
An interesting story about how one family copes with the pressure of a scandal. The scandal itself shows the danger technology poses to kids and it is scary how the kids in the story could be anyone's kids. 

I haven't started this psychological thriller yet, but I really enjoyed the author's previous novel Still Missing.

 So far I'm enjoying this mystery. A woman is led to believe that her son and husband have died but discovers they are alive and that her husband has a secret past - and now they are all in danger.

Now that all of the new fall books are starting to come out, I'm wondering... What's everyone reading or what's on your reading list for fall? Has anyone read anything amazing this month?


Sunday, 14 August 2011

The lazy blogger reads a lot

I'm feeling a little guilty about my lack of blogging over the past few months. I wish I had a good excuse like "I was in Europe" (I did go to Ottawa for a weekend and Tobermory overnight) or "I was training for a marathon" (I've played tennis twice) but the truth is I haven't really felt like blogging. 

I've still been reading a lot, catching up with friends and just enjoying the long lazy summer days.

I've read lots of mysteries, biographies and just a little fiction. Normally I love to read fiction but I am waiting for all of the hot new Fall titles to come out.

I hear Alice Hoffman has a new novel coming out and I loved to read her when I worked at Penguin. Her new book The Dovekeepers will be published by Simon and Shuster and I hear it is good.

Here are some of my July and August reads:

FICTION

This novel is about two sisters who leave Shanghai in the 1930s (the Paris of Asia at that time) for LA. I really enjoyed this novel, it was one of those sweeping sagas with a few tragic love stories, different cultures and family drama.
This novel picks up the stories of the sister's from Shanghai Girls in 1957. It is set  in LA then for reasons I won't mention goes back to a very changed Shanghai.  I really liked this novel and read the first half of the novel very quickly. I found the second part a little slower. 

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
 MEMOIR

I really admire Jaycee Lee Dugard for writing this book and sharing her story.
It is a hard to book to read and sometimes surreal/difficult to believe/comprehend that it is a true story and that someone had to go through this.

Twenty years after she lived at a homeless shelter for teens, Janice Erlbaum went back to volunteer. She formed a relationship with a very troubled young woman and rallied for her during the best and worst of times. There were a lot of surprises in this true story which was at times quite heartbreaking. My mom recommended this one. 
  
The title says it all, no? I started reading this book a couple of days ago and it is hard to put down. 

MYSTERY/THRILLER

This is a really well written, smart thriller. It was one of my favourites in this category. While in Ottawa I stole a peek at my sister's friend Jennifer's Kindle and discovered that she has an amazing selection of mysteries. She told me about this one.

As the title suggests, this is a psychological thriller about the capture of a serial killer. It is pretty graphic so not for the faint of heart. I liked it and it was my first time reading this author and I will be downloading some of his other books now too.

You're Next by Greg Hurwitz




What have you been reading this summer?












Saturday, 9 July 2011

My Summer Reads

I've been a bad blogger this month. I've been reading a lot, but for some reason (maybe the weather) I've been neglecting BBTO.

My last couple of blogs were about the BBTO Chick Lit Challenge and it really proved to be a challenge because I just couldn't get into it. Was anyone able to stick with it?

Here are a few of the books that I've been enjoying:

I read a good novel called Maine which will appeal to most women. It is about the dynamics of a family of three generations of women who are all very different - yet similar in many ways. The family cottage in Maine is the real hub of the novel.  I found it dragged a bit towards the end, but that might have been me -
sort of a restless reader this summer. 


Sister: A Novel was recommended to me by someone who reads BBTO and should really start her own blog because she reads a crazy amount of books - very quickly.  This novel is a psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns. The novel ends very differently than I had expected it to.

I really enjoyed a bundle of books by Kevin O'Brien.
I had never read anything by this mystery/thriller author before and I was surprised in a good way. The character development was great and there were a lot of twists and turns in the plot. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out "who did it" but this author kept me guessing.


I just finished reading Still Missing. It reminded me of the novel Room. It is a novel about a woman who was kidnapped and held captive by a man who raped and tormented her. If anyone has read this book I'd be interested in hearing what you thought of the ending.


And I finally got around to reading Water for Elephants. I enjoyed it but felt slightly let down after all the hype.  The best part for me was the way the novel ended.

What has everyone else been reading? Anything good?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Chick Lit Challenge Update

It has now been a few weeks since Karen in Toronto proposed the BBTO summer chick lit reading challenge and it is proving to be a bit of a "challenge".... at least for me. 

Karen and I both recently finished Something Borrowed and neither one of us really loved it. Karen felt that the level of deceit among the three main characters (two best female frenemies and one two timing male) was ridiculous. I have to agree and say that there was nothing redeeming in this novel and that neither Karen or I are running out to buy Something Blue. The characters in the story violate the strongest type of code between girlfriends and it really left a bad taste.

Next on Karen's list is Jane Eyre. Classic chick lit and a great choice.
  
CityGirl is totally on top of the Chick Lit challenge. Some new reviews and suggestions are now up on her blog.

I recently started reading One Day and recognize that I'm having a bit of reader's block these days and not really enjoying much at all. I heard so many GREAT things about this book and under normal circumstances it would be my kind of novel - but nothing is really hitting the right notes with me this month. 


I confess that I strayed from the chic lit genre and read a couple of mysteries and they didn't do it for me either. A sign that it is time to spend a few days catching up on People, Star and US magazines before attempting to read any new books. This rarely  happens but when it does it is time to take a small break.


There was an interesting article in the Globe and Mail this weekend about chick lit. I liked the article because it mentions the fact that chick lit can mean a wide range of things for female readers. I like the term the literary agent in the article mentions "accessible women's fiction".

How's the chick lit challenge going for everyone else? 

Saturday, 4 June 2011

CityGirl's Summer Chick Lit Reading Challenge Lists

CityGirl in Toronto has kindly taken the time to send in her summer chick lit reading list AND her list of recommends for anyone who wants to join in the summer chick lit reading challenge. 

There are lots of books to choose from and a good representation of chick lit authors from all over the world.

A big thank you to CityGirl. I know I will definitely add a few of these to my list. 

CityGirl’s Summer Chick Lit Reading List:
I Never Fancied Him Anyway by Claudia Carroll
Be Careful What You Wish for by Alexandra Potter
When in Rome by Gemma Townley
Learning Curves by Gemma Townley
Growing up Again by Catriona McCloud
Fashionistas by Lynn Messina
Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes (possibly others too) She will get hooked!
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Something Blue by Emily Giffin
The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham
Thin, Rich, Pretty by Beth Harbison
Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Death by Chick Lit by Lynn Harris
Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell
With Her boots On by Lisa Dow
The Flirt by Kathleen Tessaro
Tantrums and Tiaras by Linda Francis Lee

And CityGirl’s Recommends:
Do You Want To Know a Secret? by Irish author Claudia Carroll
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella (This is the best Sophie Kinsella book yet - I think it reads like a movie)
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell (Very fun and fluffy - great for the cottage)
Stuck in Downward Dog by Chantel Simmons (One of the few chick-lit books set in Toronto, so I could really picture the story unfolding in the city)
In Her Shoes – Lisa Dow (Also set in Toronto, very funny). With Her Boots On is the sequel.
Who’s that Girl by Alexandra Potter

CityGirl also suggested two books related to writing chick lit for anyone with a secret desire to write chick lit:

1. See Jane Write: A girl’s Guide to Writing Chick Lit by Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin Jacobs


Let the chick lit reading begin! And join in the #chicklitchat discussion on Twitter anytime!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Karen's Summer Chick Lit Challenge

My friend Karen, fellow booklover and talented book publicist in Toronto,  recently proposed a summer reading challenge that promises to be a lot of fun.


The goal is to read as many chick lit novels as humanely possible for the entire summer. My favourite chick lit author of all time is Marian Keyes. I don't read a lot of chick lit these days, but I've enjoyed Jane Green and Sophie Kinsella in the past and it looks like there is no shortage of chick lit options. Bring it on I say!

In Karen's words we're looking for titles that are "pure, unadulterated, fluffy chick lit". 


The first book on our list is Something Borrowed. So far it totally fits the bill and I'm starting to think about the next title. 


Would anyone like to join us? You can read at your own pace, and we can share ideas and compare reading lists at different stages during the summer. 


We would love to hear suggestions from you!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Vaclav & Lena: A Sweet Immigrant Coming-Of-Age Love Story

A few weeks ago I received a publicity copy of Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner. I was happy to receive an advance reader's copy (my first!) but was worried a bit because I like to blog about books that I love or want to read. I used to be a book publicist and appreciate that the person who sent it to me thought that I would enjoy it. But what if I didn't? 

I am happy to report that I LOVED Vaclav & Lena.  

Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner published by Random House Canada

The novel is a charming, sweet story about Vaclav and Lena, five-year-old Russian immigrant children who meet in an ESL class in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.


Vaclav is wise beyond his years and he and Lena who has a troubled childhood spend everyday after school together and  aspire to one day perform a special magic show.


A lot happens as they grow up and part ways, but they have a special bond that can't be broken.

The story is at times funny, sad, sweet and anyone who reads it will be charmed by Vaclav and his love for Lena. 

Vaclav's mother is also an interesting character. She is tough on the outside but her weakness for Lena demonstrates that that she has a big heart. 

There are quite a few surprises and as the secrets and mystery of Lena's past were slowly revealed, it became really hard to put the book down.

I'm surprised that this  is Haley Tanner's first novel, she is definitely a writer to watch.







Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Two Novels: Two Sex Scandals

I've just finished reading two novels that deal with sex scandals. Reading the paper today, or almost any day really,  it is no surprise that there are a few novels out there that deal with this subject. Both got me thinking and asking questions, always a good sign that I've enjoyed the book.
Faith by Jennifer Haigh is definitely in my top 3 for spring. It is about the McGann's, a Boston family who all deal with the situation in different ways when Art, a popular pastor of a large suburban church is accused of molesting a young boy. His sister, Sheila, seeks to uncover the truth and discovers some family secrets that begin to influence the way she feels about the situation. As she looks for clues to what happened, and begins her own investigation of sorts,  the book becomes harder and harder to put down. It makes you think about important values like trust, faith, guilt and innocence. I highly recommend this novel. 


The second novel, Fly Away Home, by Jennifer Weiner (author of In Her Shoes, one of my favourites) is about Sylvie Serfer Woodruff, a fifty-seven year-old mother of two who is married to Senator Richard Woodruff. The family is torn apart when Richard is exposed as a cheater after a news story breaks that he has had an affair with one of his legislative aids and used his influence to get her a job at a law firm he used to work at.  

The big question in this novel is will Sylvie stay with Richard or dump him and start a new life?

And how can these women who are prominent in their own right stand by their husbands at the post scandal news conferences?

I'm not sure I got any insight into this after reading the novel but maybe that's the point.
There are some great female characters in this novel and I really enjoyed the dynamic between the two sisters. I also liked the witty dialogue which lightened things up when necessary. 






.  

Monday, 9 May 2011

Back To The Bookstore?

Since I got my Amazon Kindle e-reader in March I have been feeling a little guilty about buying most of my new books online.  

I’ve always been a book person, I worked in publishing for a long time and I feel for the way that electronic book publishing and e-reading is impacting the industry. 

I never thought that I would prefer to read on an actual e-reader, I resisted for months as I thought that I would not be a real “book person” without my hardcover first editions.  But this is not the case anymore.  In two months I’ve downloaded 10 novels online and purchased three books in the bookstore (two of them were reference books). 

This weekend I was browsing in a real bookstore and it got me thinking about the benefits of buying and reading books on my Kindle AND buying and reading books at the bookstore: 
The Bookstore
  • There are still a few really great independent bookstores.  Ben McNally Books in Toronto is one example.
  • You can ask for help from an experienced bookseller who will help you find a book you will love.
  • Nothing beats walking around the bookstore and seeing some of the cool/interesting and eye catching covers.
  • While walking around you might stumble across a rare find which is not on any bestseller list, but is the best book you’ve ever read.
  • Rochelle mentioned to me that she was interested in reading Shania Twain’s new autobiography, but for now you can only buy it in the bookstore in Canada. Not everything is available right away for downloading on the Kindle. 
  • I still prefer to buy reference books that I can keep on my desk from the bookstore.
Downloading books on my Kindle e-reader
  • When I read about a book that looks good I can sample a chapter right away and see if I like it before buying it.
  •  It is less expensive in general to buy books online.  
  • I can take my Kindle with me anywhere and if I’m stuck waiting at an appointment I will always have something to read.
  • The cover with the light is one of the best inventions ever. I can read while my husband sleeps and the cover makes the Kindle feel like a book.
Conclusion
If you love to read then chances are you will enjoy reading physical books and books on an e-reader. Sadly I will probably continue to buy more books online than in the bookstore and I keep hearing the same thing from others who’ve been using e-readers. The good news is that people are saying that they are reading more books than ever with their e-readers. Hopefully new opportunities will be created for publishers, writers and booksellers who have always struggled in a competitive market. 

Thankfully, one thing is clear – booklovers will always be around.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Misery Loves Mystery

I've always been a big fan of mystery novels. Lately I've been buying more of them than usual - even for me. It probably has something to do with the miserable weather in Toronto. It has not stopped raining since March and in the meantime I seem to have purchased enough mysteries to last until next May. The good news is that this type of weather totally sets the mood for curling up with a cup of hot tea and and a mystery novel.
Here's the list I've been working on:
It is very scary, and if you like the TV show "Criminal Minds" then you will enjoy. I also really liked his first novel,The Sculptor. Terrifying.
I had not read one of hers in a long time! At first I thought I was really clever and had figured the whole thing out. I was proven wrong and there were some good twists and turns. 

I've downloaded this one, it sounded good. Still too early too tell. I read about it on LesleysBookNook.
I recently finished this one which I had mentioned in an earlier blog post. There were some really good twists and turns and I read it quite quickly.

I finished this one around a month ago. Lisa Gardner is one of my favourites. Again, I thought I had it all figured out but this was not the case.

Thanks to Bonnie in Mississipi for mentioning this author on the Booklover's Blog TorontoFacebook Page . Her new book sounds really good.

And for anyone out there who loves a good mystery, Joy Fielding is one of the best.

Does anyone else have any good suggestions? It doesn't look like this rain is going to go away anytime soon. . .


















Saturday, 30 April 2011

Friday Night Every Night

For the past two months I’ve been obsessed with Friday Night Lights. My husband first heard about the TV series while reading rave reviews on an ESPN blogger’s site, and I enjoyed watching the first season when it first aired in 2006. 

We decided to start watching Friday Night Lights again from the beginning; and by the end of the first season,  I was begging my husband for permission (something I only do when we watch really good shows) to watch multiple episodes every night. We averaged about two episodes a night though if it were up to me we would have finished the whole five seasons in one week.

I am not particularly athletic and not a huge football fan, so what did I LOVE about the TV series?

Friday Night Lights on TV

The TV series is set in the small fictional town of Dillon, Texas where everyone lives for Friday Night high school football. The character development is great and the actors form a fantastic ensemble cast. With each episode you feel as if you are watching the kids grow up, with the rare exception of one or two kids who will remind you of someone you knew in high school.

Most of the action takes place at Dillon high where football coach Eric Taylor and his wife Tami Taylor (a guidance counselor and later principal) show a genuine interest in the kids and help them overcome personal obstacles in order to get into college. 

The football is intense and it was pretty cool when I Googled the show (which most of us do when we really like something) and found out that it is based on a true story.

The last two seasons in the series really stood out because they showed a different side of Dillon and offered a glimpse into the poverty, crime and racism that is more prominent in the book and film. 

I can’t say that I liked the film “more”, but there were certain things I really liked about it that were different from the TV series. It was grittier and tackled the big issues right from the start: like racism and the pressure the town puts on the kids and coaches to win. It is a quicker pace because of the shorter format but at the same time it didn’t really go as deep into the lives of all of the students and their families, mainly focusing on the football players. Billy Bob Thornton is very good as the coach in the film and all of the other actors are great too.

Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream by H.G. Bissinger

The book is a fascinating read, based on a true story. I wish I’d read it before I watched the TV series and movie. The book offers more than the film and TV series because it shares more of the author’s own observations, research and interviews conducted while living in Odessa, a small Texas town, obsessed with high school football. The book also delves into the history of Odessa and the Texas oil industry; the contrast between its privileged residents and the less fortunate ones; school rivalries; and problems including  racism, alcoholism, crime and problems with the education system. 

Conclusion
I liked the book the most because it put everything into context.  Friday Night Lights, the TV series is seriously one of the best I’ve seen on TV. It is right up there with The Wire and The Shield

The film is great too.  It is grittier than The Blind Side but similar in that it is a really good sports movie.  (My husband says that Raging Bull would be a better comparison.)

My husband and I have added Texas to our list of places we’d like to visit. Because of our FNL obsession, we’d love to go and check out a big high school football game in Texas. 

Monday, 25 April 2011

One For The Ladies: The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer

Today I received Penguin Group Canada's monthly e-newsletter and was intrigued when I read about The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer.

Great cover!

It is about a group of women in a high school community who have lost interest in their husbands and boyfriends in the bedroom. A "spell has been cast" after the new drama teacher chose Lysistrata (the comedy by Aristophanes in which women stop having sex with men in order to end a war) for the school play. 

The loss of passion affects both  the women and their men who are offended and confused.

I've bumped this book to the top of my list.  It sounds really interesting and after hearing about it I wanted to learn more. I found a great Globe & Mail review. I like the headline "Sexless in Suburbia".

I'm going to start The Uncoupling tonight. Is anyone else planning on reading this one?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

BBTO Book Club Chat: Sing You Home

I’ve struggled with the format for the BBTO “online” book club because I couldn’t figure out the best way to make it interactive for participants who live in different countries, and who are reading at different paces.

Some readers had started Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult, others had bought the book but hadn't started it yet and a few finished the book very quickly.

Rochelle suggested that I start a Facebook page which would allow readers to post comments and chat about books whenever they have time.
 
I took her advice since she knows all about this stuff and started a BBTO Facebook page . I hope you’ll join in the chat. Feel free to jump in at anytime!

Here are a few questions to begin the discussion:

1. Pastor Clive seems to embody the very essence of fundamentalist religion. How does he make you feel?
2. At the end of the book, did Max do the right thing?
3. What do you believe constitutes a family, a good parent?
4. Has your opinion on gay rights changed in any way after reading this book? If yes, how?

You are welcome to ask your own questions and let everyone know what you liked or didn't like about this book.  

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Book Review: Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin

One of the greatest words in the Korean language is Ajuma. In English it means old lady, but anyone who has ever been to Korea knows that an Ajuma is a force to be reckoned with.

She is the woman selling cabbage at the side of the road who then walks miles loaded down with heavy bundles of fresh vegetables, chili peppers, and roots to take home to prepare meals for her family.

She is tough and resilient with a huge heart, kind eyes, generous, and a virtual saint, but you don’t even want to think about going for her seat on the subway in Seoul. She would not think twice about using her elbows if you got in her way.

Paldong Dam,  Mountains in South Korea
Please Look After Mom begins with the mysterious disappearance of one such woman, a fierce Ajuma who has traveled to Seoul to visit her children and; somehow got separated and lost from her husband, who was walking ahead of her at the busy train station.

The story is told in second-person narration in several sections of the novel. This is uncommon but on reflection it works well as the story unfolds. When Chi-hon, the daughter of the missing woman tells her story, it becomes clear that she took her mother for granted and because the word you is often used in an accusatory manner, the second-person narrative technique reinforces the narrator's feelings of guilt and remorse.

While the family looks for their lost mother they reflect on the sacrifices that she made on their behalf; and how they rarely demonstrated their appreciation for the woman whose life revolved around making other people happy.

Chi-hon is a writer; this makes her mother, who grew up in the country in a different era illiterate, very proud. Chin-hon's story of her mother buying her a book without even asking the price while she haggles for everything else, and later stories of buying another daughter a desk to study at and beating her son to force him to eat food made by his father's mistress so he can focus in class come up as the family reflects on the number of ways that they took their mother for granted. As their mother becomes older, the children are busy and don't realize how she is deteriorating. There is also a lot that they don't know about their mother in general.

The children in the novel represent a new generation and the changing role of the woman in the workforce in South Korea. The contrast between old and new in South Korea is also seen in the mother’s day-to-day life in the country and the lives of her children, who represent the future.
The novel perfectly combines universal themes of love and loss, family dynamics, gender equality, tradition, and charity with the rich Korean culture and values which makes Please Look After Mom such a good read.

Please Look After Mom is bestselling Korean author Kyung-sook Shin’s first book to be translated in English. It will be published in nineteen countries around the world.

This review was first published on Blogcritics.org.

If you enjoyed this post please "like" the new Booklover's Blog Toronto Facebook page.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Six Books For Spring

I’m halfway through Please Look After Mom. It is hard to put down and I'm starting to think about what I'll read next. 

Time to add a few books to my spring reading list:

1. I'm very excited about Lisa Jackson's new novel Devious. A depraved, devious killer is strangling novice nuns and detectives Bentz Montoya must solve the case. It has been called “terrifying” and a Publishers Weekly review called it a “creepy thriller”. Perfect.

  
2. Bossy Pants, Tina Fey’s new biography
I’m a 30 Rock fan, the character Liz Lemon totally cracks me up.

3. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
I saw the movie last week and now want to read the book. It is a legal thriller with lots of exciting twists and turns. 
  
This was on Amazon’s “best books of the month” list in March. I always wanted to read the author’s first book Natasha and Other Stories but never got around to it. This is his first novel and he was named one of The New Yorker’s 20 under 40 in 2010. 

  
5. 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson is a debut novel coming out in May. It sounds really good. One blogger mentioned there was some buzz about it being the next Sophie’s Choice.


6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is out in paperback. I read this in hardcover, but wanted to include it in case anyone hadn't heard of it yet.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Booklover's Blog Toronto Is Now On Facebook: Please Check it Out

Dear Fellow Booklovers:

Please "like" Booklover's Blog Toronto on Facebook. Join Booklover's Blog Toronto and share your thoughts on reading, books and all your favourite authors.

I need a few more likes to make it official. 

Please check it out when you have a chance!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Improve Your Writing With These Two Books

I recently received the perfect gift from a cousin who knows me well. A gift card for Indigo Books and one for the movies.

I decided to buy a couple of books that I will use often.

If you do a lot of writing at work or enjoy blogging then you'll also find these two books extremely useful.
 


The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook For Writing, Editing, And Creating Content For The Digital World


I've been using an older version of this book for years, and should probably refer back to it more often than I do. It is great for checking things like titles, punctuation and grammar. 

And I just went to see  The Lincoln Lawyer. It was a really suspenseful thriller. I enjoyed it a lot. A definite "must see".